After the War

A building in Ypres.

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In Ypres (Ieper) look upon the gables, rooftops and walls…there are reminders here.
(P. Ferguson image, August 2018)

Reminders

After the war…each day’s new peace is punctuated by the craggy and weighted fragments of former ambition and rubble. Once these were buildings…these were homes. The exclamations, and pauses, the commas, the full stops of life.

With each day a small section of peace is renewed as foundation is revealed…the rebuilding continues. Brick by brick, stone by stone, breath to breath…the people reclaim their spaces, their places. There was war once here…the rat-a-tat-tat of the machine gun replaced by the tat-a-tat-tat of the stone mason’s hammer and chisel. The war continues each day, the staccato of steel…as stone chips fall…year by year. These are the signs 1 9 2 1 1 9 2 2 1 9 2 3. Read them here at Ypres, hear them from their walls, their rooftops, their gables. This is their chorus of rebirth. These are reminders of war.

At Ypres they came…the pilgrims and people knew they would come…to find their loves, their sons and daughters, their families caught by this land. They came soon…on their own or with help…St. Barnabas… the YMCA…the British War Graves Commission…the Salvation Army…the Church Army…a father…a mother…family in search of their love…their kin amidst this soil, forever sacred, forever light. The darkness shall not find them.

And here amongst the foundations a new stone is placed. There will be a new beginning, building or home…as pilgrims wander, fallen fragments. These are reminders of war.


About The Author

pferguson
Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.

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